Maleo

Maleo

Conservation status: THREATENED
Common name: Maleo
Scientific name: Macrocephalon maleo
Type: Bird
Diet: fruits, seeds, mollusks, ants, termites, beetles, and small invertebrates.
Length: 55 – 60 cm (Adult)
Weight: 1.3 – 1.6 kg (Adult: Male), 1.5 – 1.8 kg (Adult: Female)

The maleo is a large megapode (mound-building bird) that is endemic to the Sulawesi island. It lives in the tropical lowland and hill forests but builds its nests in open sandy areas, volcanic soils, or beaches where there is sufficient geothermal energy for incubation.

This bird has a blackish plumage, yellow facial skin surrounding its eyes, a reddish-brown iris, a reddish-orange beak, and rosy feathers that cover its underpart. The crown is decorated with a black helmet casque and the greyish blue feet have four claws, which are separated by a membranous web. The two sexes appear almost identical, though the female is slightly smaller and duller.

Like many other endangered species,  the maleo is a victim to habitat loss and poaching. A large number of nesting sites have been abandoned due to egg poaching and land conversion to agriculture. In fact, among the 142 known nesting grounds, only 4 are not threatened. Deforestation and fragmentation of forest habitats pose major threats to the current and future populations of the species. Again, humans should pay more attention to the environment and realize that animals living in the environment are paying the price of our actions.

References:

  1. BirdLife International (2013). “Macrocephalon maleo“. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. “EDGE of Existence”. EDGE of Existence. Retrieved 2015-10-30.
  3. “Macrocephalon Maleo (Gray’s Brush-Turkey, Maleo, Maleo Megapode)”. Iucnredlist.Org, http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/22678576/0.

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